Before I begin, I just wanna say….Only 88 days until Opening Day!!!!!!!!!!
As the 2013 season approaches, we Brewers fans are not COMPLETELY sure what the team will look like on April 1st, though we have a pretty good idea. Same offense – damn good. Re-tooled bullpen – improved, in my opinion, with no Parra and no Loe (nothing personal of course). And a young starting rotation with question marks. So this season could either be surprisingly (I wouldn’t be surprised, but national media would) good, or horribly bad. And a fan’s anticipation of the direction this team will take in 2013 probably depends a lot on whether they’re a glass half full or glass half empty kind of person.
Guess what kind of person I am? Well I’m a glass-half-full kinda gal! When it comes to the Brewers, as you probably already know and may or may not be annoyed by, I am the eternal, it’s-not-over-til-the-fat-lady-sings optimist! Is that a bad thing? Heck no! Hope makes the World go ’round! Nothing wrong with being hopeful. Nothing wrong with having faith that the young Brewers hurlers can channel their sexy curves and wicked fastballs and pitch their hearts out. Nope. Nothing wrong with that. So let me share some of my positivity and generalities about the 2013 Brewers with you, my fellow loyal, passionate fans who all WANT the team to do well, but have worries that they won’t.
First of all I’d like to address all this Corey Hart trade talk. Yes I may be biased because he’s my favorite position player, but there’s a REASON for my Hart love! He was absolutely, positively STELLAR at first base last season. And pretty darn good at the plate. Stop saying he always swings at the outside slider because he doesn’t do that anymore. Once in a while, but not all the time like he used to. Watch him now…don’t live in the past. This is the last year of Hart’s contract and he wants an extension – he wants to be a Brewer forever (which makes me love him even more) – but I can’t see the Brewers giving him that extension with Hunter Morris waiting in the wings. That being said, I also can’t see the Brewers trading him away before the season starts. We have a shot this year! I believe it. Doug and Mark believe it. We may all be wrong, but we don’t want to give up before we even start! Sure, if the Brewers aren’t contending mid-season, see what you can get for Hart then. But he is second only to Braun on this team. Trading him away before you even know what 2013 will bring? Well, that’s just ludicrous.
The offense in general…no worries! They were BETTER post-Prince in 2012! Even I didn’t expect that! We have Brauny, Gomez, Aoki, Ramirez, Sugar (Segura – allow me one nickname please), Rickie (as Rickie goes, so go the Brewers…Rickie be good!), Corey, Lucroy and Maldanado. Ooooooo baby!! Things are looking FINE there.
The starting rotation. The young guys did one hell of a job for us at the end of 2012 and there’s no reason they can’t repeat, or be even better. I would’ve liked to see the Brewers sign a veteran 5th starter, but perhaps we can contend with what we have. And who’s to say they won’t sign someone before the season starts? This is what we have in no particular order…Yo – nuff said. Marco Estrada – he’s stellar for 5 sometimes 6 innings. Would love to see him work up to 7, but with our improved (yes, again, I believe it’s improved) bullpen, we should be ok. Chris Narveson – my favorite pitcher, so I’m biased, but his recovery is going well, so there’s no reason not to think he won’t come back at full force (he’s a Cardinal KILLER, by the way). Mike Fiers – REALLY good, although I think his arm got tired end of last season, so have to watch that. And then, the last spot…unknown! Rogers? Thornburg?(who I love) Peralta?(great stuff, location inconsistent, not sure if he’s ready) Or maybe Brewers will sign someone. Whatever the case, we have talent at the pitching position! Please don’t write them off. Yes, the starting rotation, as is usually the case, will determine if this season is joyous or dismal. But you know what? I have faith! Joy, not pain, is in our future! They did it last season, they can do it again.
On to the bullpen. Well, as I mentioned, no Manny and no Loe = improvement. Hate being negative about players, because I do support them all, but Manny’s never-reached potential was killing me. And Loe’s unreliablity drove me insane. I’m sure Gonzalez and Badenhop will be kinder to my pyche. Then we have Gorzelanny replacing Livan – definite improvement. Brandon Kintzler is one of my faves so I’m very excited he’ll be there. And Jim Henderson will be replacing Frankie at set-up. I get hate for this, but I love Frankie. Love his wild style. Love his personality on the field. I will miss him very much. HOWEVER, Jim Henderson is AMAZING! He’s gonna do a great job. He’ll make a name for himself this year, mark my words. And hey! Great news! Our Closer is John Axford!!! That’s the way it should be. If you have a problem with that, just think that the MAJORITY of innings John pitched in the Closer’s role were tremendously spectacular. He is a great pitcher and definitely has what it takes to be our Closer. I wrote a whole BLOG about him, so you know my feelings there. He’ll be fine.
So you see? Nothing to worry about! Anyway, you shouldn’t worry about what you can’t control. This time of year is all about going to Brewers On Deck and hoping and dreaming about good things to come! Mark and Doug know what they’re doing. Yes they need to cut payroll, but they also want to win. Do you think Mark wants to watch HIS team lose 100 games?! Our small market status just ties his hands a bit. There’s a balancing act. This season is a gamble for Mark Attanasio, no doubt about it. It’s a leap of faith. But he does want to win and believes we will! Cuz he’s a glass-half-full kinda guy.